By Mohamed Abualy Alibhai
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Additional info for Abu Ya’Qub Al-Sijistani and Kitab Sullam Al-Najat, A Study in Islamic Neoplatonism
The task might seem daunting, but these puzzles are the kind on which scientists thrive — and they can be answered. First, we will have to design and carry out more and more experiments, slowly teasing out answers. But equally important, we are going to have to sleep on it. M (Further Reading) u Visual Discrimination Learning Requires Sleep after Training. Robert u u u u Stickgold, LaTanya James and J. Allan Hobson in Nature Neuroscience, Vol. 3, No. 12, pages 1237–1238; December 2000. Sleep Inspires Insight.
It is as if an electric current is coursing through the network. When it is buzzing at top capacity— when, for example, installing that new light fixture requires both hands — the cells in those areas of the brain are turned on and secreting neurochemicals, such as dopamine and serotonin, which are involved in generating positive emotions. Neural connections are strengthened and reinforced. Perhaps most important, this kind of meaningful action— that is, effort-driven rewards— likely stimulates neurogenesis, the production of new brain cells.
Our brains are generally the same size and have all the same parts and chemical composition as those of the earliest humans. Even though our lifestyles have changed radically, we have retained the in- nate need for achieving effort-driven rewards. Is it okay that we have systematically removed physical effort— and all the complexity of movement and thought processes that it implies— from effort-driven rewards? Is contemporary society actually robbing us of certain forms of pleasure so fundamental to our mental health?